Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Abused But Not Forgotten by God

Thelma Wells has written many books to encourage women. Yet this courageous woman began life with the name on her birth certificate reading simply: Baby Girl Morris.

Her mother was a severely deformed teenager with no husband and no place to go, since her own abusive mother insisted that she take the baby and leave the house. So when the baby was born, her unwed teenage mother found work as a maid cleaning while living with her baby daughter in servants’ quarters. Eventually, the baby went to live with her great-grandparents, who called her Thelma Louise Smith and loved her dearly. They took little Thelma to church, where she learned to love the hymns and praise songs.

On those occasions when Thelma was taken to her grandparents’ home, her grandmother abused her, just as she had tormented Thelma’s mother. She was locked in a dark, smelly, insect-infested closet until just before her grandfather came home when her grandmother would bring her out of the closet, clean her up, and act as if all was well. 

In spite of her deep fear, little Thelma spent her time in the closet singing every hymn and praise song she could remember. She would sing herself to sleep in that closet, and the Lord received this little girl’s innocent praise and rewarded it with an abundant life of joy, protecting her from feelings of anger or bitterness.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas and eventually received a Master’s of Ministry from Master’s International School of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. In 2002 she became the school’s first black female professor. In 1980 Thelma became the first black woman in the South to organize her own international speaking and consulting corporation. She has authored several books, including God Is Not Through With Me Yet, an inspiring examination of her own life experiences in which she encourages readers to “sing in the closets of their lives.” 

She serves as the president of The Daughters of Zion Leadership Mentoring Program, an organization she founded in 2000 (another first for a black woman). Through this ministry, “Mama T,” as she is affectionately called, has mentored over 100 spiritual daughters. Visit Thelma’s website to see her books at www.thelmawells.com

 Rita Stella Galieh is enjoying the challenges and rewards of Independent Publishing.

 The 2nd edition of her Victoriana Trilogy has seen her dream realized. As an art student at her convict built college, she wondered about its history.

Research revealed the famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt had visited there. One of the jailors joked about the local cat, meaning of course, the cruel cat 'o nine tails.

The Bloody Code was an all encompassing method of punishment for any offense deemed illegal. Often people were sent to the gallows or faced transportation to England's brutal  prisons in The Southern hemisphere.  Tracing the life of one innocent woman, on whom she based her story, became the background to this novel.

See www.ritastellapress.com  for information on both print & ebooks

Have you ever researched certain things that caught your interest and found a story taking shape? Or do you begin with an idea and then do research?


  1. Hi Rita, Thanks for sharing Thelma's story with us. Her courage and faith, in the face of great adversity, is inspiring.

    I usually begin with a story idea and research later. That probably relates to genre - I write contemporary romance and I often stumble upon potential story ideas.

    1. Thanks Narelle. Yes come to think of it, you do need a good idea first to bother doing research about it!

  2. Mama T sounds like quite a person. She could be inspiration for lots of stories as well as changed lives.

    I write historical so it is usually a place and time that strike my interest. Reasearch then fills in lots of ideas to make it real and authentic--things I never would have thought up on my own.

  3. Hi LeAnne. I tried doing some research once about a certain place then found i didn't have the inspiration to make a story out of it.